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Discussion Starter #1
i've been reading up on all the material on this forum and i've improved (with alot of improvement still to come) a great deal

i've brushed up on breathing, embouchure, tone, technique etc.

now where ive come short is i have a largish lung capacity and can breathe with my diaphram better and still improving although when i play a song on my alto every time i breath it unsettles my embouchure and leaves me playing inconsistently. the only way i have a good embouchure is if i take the mpc out of my mouth and start again :(

basically what i want to know is how to better apply breathing to sax playing for example ways to take air in (with your teeth on top or from the sides)...

please help me..?
 

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Leaving the upper teeth on is a good idea, because often there is not enough time to reposition the mouthpiece in the mouth after taking it out just for a breath.

Breathing in from the sides of the lips only, has the advantage of leaving the vital configuration of the centre of your lip intact.

Lowering the jaw as well, has the advantage of allowing blood to flow back into the centre of the lower lip, from where it may have been constricted by the pressure on the lip. This may provide more lip stamina. Also, briefly moving the jaw is probably helpful for avoiding tMJ (jaw joint) problems.

Take your pick. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
i was trying to drop my lower jaw but when i put it back on it screws with my overall embouchure.... :(

is it just practicing that???
 

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I was watching Dexter Gordon breathe on the DVD. It looks like he keeps his upper teeth and lower lip in place on the mouthpiece and breathes in through both sides of his mouth.
 

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For most, if not all people, it's far slower through the nose. Sometimes speed is essential.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
yeah speed is pretty important......hmmm

has anyone had this problem of repositioning?? GRR its frustrating

i do a vee shape with my bottom lip btw
 

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I don't think there is a problem with repositioning if the lip is a simple, bunched cushion. The whole lip configuration just moves with the jaw, and back to where it was. I wonder if that "V shape" (whatever that is) compounds your problem in some way.
 

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My suggestion is to keep the embouchure intact on the top and bottom and take in air through the sides (corners) of the mouth. As you practice and improve this problem will take care of itself through what is called "embouchure memory".

John
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
well i've been practicing both ways and its gotten much better although there is still a bit of a problem with the repositioning of the lower lip...

i've been doing pete thomas's exercises for a couple of days http://www.petethomas.co.uk/saxophone-breathing.html

are they good exercises?? and how long does it take to increase breathing capacity etc.??

does anyone have anything else they've done/tried that worked quickly and effectively??

i can barely hold a note for more than 7-8 secs :cry: and as you can imagine screws up my phrasing and general skills....

i have my exam in 2 weeks... im not looking for a huge improvement in capacity just to hold a note for 10-15+ sec.... what do you think?

EDIT: i can barely hold a low note for 7-8 seconds, also i'm 16yrs and fit
 

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IMO to last longer you need to blow with more air pressure. So the note gets its energy from pressure rather than just quantity of air.

Of course if there is more air presure, there will need to be more lower lip pressure on the reed in order to effectively turn that pressure into quality sound.

If that extra lip pressure means that the reed closes against the mouthpiece and NO sound is produced, then a stronger reed may be required.
 
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